Living

Home & Garden

Social media contacts help slash costs of yard makeover

Anyone who wants to accomplish a water-wise yard renovation on a small budget should take a lesson from Happy Aston. When her family purchased a home in the College Area in 2015, Aston knew she'd need to make the front yard makeover a priority. The yard was filled with dying grass, weeds, yellow nutsedge and an ornamental pear tree.

Home & Garden

Tips on saving for a new home

If one of your New Year's resolutions is to become a homeowner, now is the time to start a plan to save for that new dream house. While a 20 percent down payment is often no longer necessary, you'll still need a bit of savings even for lower rates in San Diego's pricey housing market. And keep in mind, a larger down payment might save you money in the long run.

Travel

Exploring the archaeological wonders of Jordan

In Jordan's extraordinary rose-red "Lost City" of Petra, I have just huffed up 700 zigzagging stone-carved steps to the ancient mountaintop High Place of Sacrifice with its sacred altar and goat blood drain. And now, along a dirt trail, I rest in a rug-draped souvenir stall while an octogenarian Bedouin woman – who is traditionally clad in a long embroidered madraga dress and grew up in a cave – deftly strings a fragrant necklace of dried cloves to sell me.

Home & Garden

Plumber: Beverage faucet for bar sink

Q: Dear Ed: I especially liked your past article on beverage faucets that deliver refreshing filtered water to a kitchen sink for cooking. Well, if a beverage faucet works as a nice accessory on a kitchen sink, can I install one as the main faucet on my smaller bar sink?

Home & Garden

Yardsmart: How fungi grow in forest, lawns

I discovered fungi in the coastal forests of Northern California. There I came to recognize the mushrooms, lichens and liverworts, all small primitive plants you might not notice. What makes fungi different is they cannot photosynthesize like green plants because they lack chlorophyll. That's why edible mushrooms are cultivated in darkness.

Home & Garden

Ask Angie's List: How can insulation keep my heating bills down?

Insulation plays an important role in keeping your house cool in summer and warm in winter. But because of its passive nature, it's easy to forget that it needs to be maintained from time to time. As you move into the coldest part of winter, don't overlook the role of insulation in preserving the heat you're spending so much money to pump into your house.

Home & Garden

Style at Home: Bring your personality to life in your decor

The secret to creating a beautiful home isn't in cloning a big-name designer's style, or washing a room in the latest trend. It's about thoughtfully constructing a space that celebrates the people who live there. Our design choices should not only be inspired by today's "it" color palettes or furniture styles, but by the opportunity to bring to life the story of us: what we love, what is precious from our past, what we dream of for the future.

Home & Garden

The 9 affordable buys that make every first home look expensive

Whether you're moving into your first apartment or a new rental, there's always a myriad of things to consider. But perhaps the first and foremost is your budget. While your stylish eye wants all the designer pieces, your frugal purse is looking at those luxury look-alikes with an affordable price tag. But you don't have to declare war with your bank account – it is possible to achieve a happy compromise. Low-cost decor that looks expensive really exists.

Home & Garden

On Gardening: Florida Sunshine, gold lantern to the woodland garden

If the frigid winter has you crying for some Florida sunshine, you are not alone. In the past few months, I have moved to Hamilton, Ga., and have been furiously planting hollies, camellias, conifers, and a few other select evergreens to start giving the bones to my new landscape. After days on end of high teens and low 20s, I couldn't be happier with Florida Sunshine a selection of the native Illicium parviflorum that was introduced by Plant Delights Nursery.

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Joshua Bessex jbessex@thenewstribune.com
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